Subtitled The Russian March to Alaska and California, this book makes grand reading as a sage of adventure, romance, intrigue, and imperial aspirations. Northwest America, now known as Alaska, was the prize, but Siberia and the region of the Aur which gave imperial Russia their port of Viadivostok, proved in the end a greater prise from the Russian point of view, and they yielded thought of American Empire, gave way before the Monroe Doctrine and sold Alaska and the miserable base at Sitka that has caused so many heartaches. The broad outlines of this we are taught in history, from the American angle; now the whole glamorous story is unfolded, the inside story of out Russian neighbors across the Boring Straits, of the scramble for sablo, sea otter, seals; for ""peaceful penetration"" of the outskirts of rich Cathay and its markets; for gold and power. Names that are familiar such as Yormak, the great Cossack chief; Stoganov, the commercial empire builder; Baranov, Rosanov -- who pushed forward the frontiers; Boring and Pribilov, whose names are immortalised in geographical symbols -- these and others carried the Russian empire far beyond its boundaries in Peter the Great's time, to the threshold of our own country. Paralleling this story -- intertwir with it -- we get the march of Britain and America, colliding with Russia on the Pacific. The author has brought together marvelous material -- now more than ever -- of vital interest. His style is annoyingly mannered, but his sources -- frequently contemporary records -- and the stuff of which his book is made override its form. Backed substantially.